Child Care Feasibility Study update

A survey on local child care is available to the community and some local businesses.

  • Oct. 25, 2011 5:00 a.m.

Laurie Dalzell

Maven Connector Group

The Giving Tree Child Care Society, the College of the Rockies, and the Early Childhood Development Coalition hired the MavenConnector Group, led by former Golden resident Laurie Dalzell, to conduct a community-wide feasibility study on the need for and the ability to sustain an Infant/Toddler and/or Group Childcare Facility for Golden and Area A.

Dalzell was awarded this contract at the end of September. The research, focus groups, and surveys will take place through the end of November and the study’s findings will be presented to the community by Dec. 16.

Dalzell has been tasked to look at the current need for and ability to sustain a group facility in Golden.

As part of her research, she visited Golden in the beginning of October and hosted several formal and informal community consultation sessions.

In total, 25 people attended those sessions and provided their thoughts on the current state of child care and the gaps that need to be filled. We have also provided opportunities for the current child care providers to participate in this discussion.

Some attended her consultation sessions, others participated through an online forum called PowerNoodle, and others have had telephone interviews with Dalzell.

A survey to parents has just been released on the SurveyMonkey Platform to ask more specifically what parents in Golden are feeling their needs are in relation to child care.

This survey is also available in paper format at the following locations around town: The College of the Rockies, the Library, the Golden Women’s Centre, the Child Care Resource and Referral/Toy Lending Library, the Public Health Unit and through Rhonda Smith of the Golden Infant Development Program and Joanne McCullough of the Early Childhood Development Coalition.

There are two other important aspects that Dalzell is gathering data on. One is the importance of child care to the economic vibrancy and sustainability of the community of Golden and Area A as a whole.

Input from the business community will be very important to this aspect of the study. Dalzell has just created a survey for business owners and managers to assess the impact of child care (or lack thereof) on their ability to manage employees and to get their products and services delivered.

Another key factor is that of migration of families and businesses in and out of Golden and the relevance that child care options has to this phenomenon.

Tied in to the importance to community economic development is the idea of community collaboration to help fill the gaps in child care options here in Golden.

I have visited the community of Revelstoke and met with the Superintendent of School District 19, Anne Cooper.

Cooper showed Dalzell the progress on their Neighbourhood of Learning which illustrates true collaboration of all parts of the Community of Revelstoke with the School District at the hub to deliver many diverse elements of community programming of which early learning and child care is one of many aspects.

This has been one of the most impressive examples of collaboration and sharing of resources that we have seen so far in her research.

The study has received just over 50 responses to the parent survey in the first week and we hope to reach 100 responses in total.

We feel this will give a good representation of the parents’ perspective.

The study  released a survey to employers and business owners on the impact that child care has on their ability to efficiently conduct business.

The study will be conducting a community forum on Nov.14 with the intent of gathering all stakeholders in one place (parents, businesses, educators, local government officials, and interested community members).

At this forum, we will present some scenarios based on the data received and discuss recommendations and outcomes to those scenarios.

For more information about this study, to give your input, to have a survey emailed to you or to be part of a focus group that will be meeting in mid-November to form recommendations which will address the gaps in the availability of child care in Golden, please contact Laurie Dalzell at laurie@mavenconnector.ca or on Facebook at the Golden BC Child Care Feasibility Study. Survey links are available on the Facebook page.

 

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